Hi Everyone -
My name is Sean O'Brien, and along with Adam Heller, we will be coaching the Shetland Division Rangers this year. We wanted to reach out to introduce ourselves and provide some information on the upcoming season.
Like many of you, this will be the first baseball season for my son Seamus. Our goal is to make sure the kids have fun this season and learn a bit of baseball at the same time. In the Shetland Division, each kid will get to bat during every inning, and we'll try to keep as many kids on the field as possible.
Safety: While they use softcore baseballs at this age, there are two critical things that we'll introduce during the first practice, and it would be great if you could reinforce them as well. This is an entertaining stage to watch the kids as they learn to play baseball, pay attention when receiving instruction, and have fun.
Bat Rule: The bat rule is essential for everyone's safety. We will teach the kids to hold the bat below their waist, grip the bat in the center, and limit bats to kids that are batting, on deck, or in the hole.
Ready Position: At this age, it's challenging to keep the kid's attention sometimes in the field. Hot, long days in the summer only make this more difficult. We'll try to teach the kids to stay in the ready position while in the field to ensure they don't get hit while fielding. At this age, we will still have quite a few dirt angels, butterfly chases, and picking of flowers for moms - the important thing is for them to have fun and be safe this year.
Help: We'll need assistance from parents throughout the season. We appreciate your support to step in where needed to coach on the field, help keep the kids engaged, monitor the bench to maintain the batting order, and enforce the bat rule.
Late Start: This year, the Shetland division has a later start to our games than the other divisions due to some repair work on the Pinto field. We will finish the season at the same time as the other divisions but won't have our first game until Saturday, May 28, 2022.
Practice: We will practice each week on Wednesday, and our first practice will be on April 27, at McGraw Park at 5:30 PM. McGraw park is a first-come, first-serve park, so we'll try to find an available diamond or a patch of large grass each week.
Make sure your kids wear their baseball pants, a hat, and cleats (if they have any), bring their glove, water bottle, and a sweatshirt in case it gets cold. Make sure your bats, water bottles, gloves, and bags are all labeled.
Communication: We will utilize the Pony Baseball email and text system, so please ensure you are registered on the website and have enabled text messages. This will assist in making sure you know about game cancellations and upcoming practices. If you cannot attend a game or will be out of town, please let us know through the Pony website so we can plan accordingly.
If you have any questions, please feel free to text me via the Pony website or directly at 1-309-660-9979.